In the post-advertising world, many brands struggle to understand the people they’re selling to and why they behave as they do. As power shifts from brands to consumers, knowing your consumer has never been more important. Even the accounting firm PwC has woken up to the fact that “every industry participant will need to invest in customer understanding and engagement.” But so long as this point is couched solely in data-analytics terms, it tells only part of the story.
I know that at some point in my life I did. I could wait in lines, sit through three-hour college classes and even read a book for hours, all without feeling as though I’d missed out on something. But not anymore.
Today my patience (or maybe it’s just my attention span) has deteriorated to a sliver of what it was. In a normal day at the office, I scan hundreds of tweets and status updates, read (or at least skim) a dozen or so blog posts and view countless Facebook photos, YouTube videos (the short ones), Touts and Vines. I can't stand in line without checking my email, Facebook or Instagram.
I’m not reading books or even long- form articles. I’m busy (at least I think I am), and I don’t have time to read your lengthy e-Book or watch your 60-minute webinar. In reality I probably do have the time, but the advent of social media has changed not only the type of content I consume and where I consume it, but also the speed in which I feel I must consume that content. And by "I," I mean most everyone.
Time. We only wish we had more in the day, right? As technology has evolved over the years, the speed of our lives has increased exponentially. Interconnectivity has reduced our capability to stand tasks that demand a great deal of time, and the “normal” nine-to-five is simply no longer the norm. We get to work early; we work late. While in bed at night, we fight the urge to close our eyelids, instead opting to write one more blog post or send one more email.
So when it comes to advertising, it’s almost laughable to think that audiences would ever have the time for long-form content—no less long-form branded content. Maybe a 30-second spot could slip by, but audiences would never find 20 minutes to watch a sponsored video and then spend another 10 sharing it with their networks, simply because they loved it, right?
Knock-offs, like those Coach handbags you find on Canal Street, ain’t legal. These fakers hurt the real brands—both in their credibility and in their pockets. The 'po frequently bust manufacturers and dealers, hauling in purses, glasses, jeans, etc. by the truckload. Hey, you don’t need a lecture. On the other hand, imagine a brand with the chance to fashion a positive PR opportunity out of its rip-offs. Nike, Timberland and many others swallowed their pride and did just that, making us all proud in the process.
Trying to inch in on the Nike-controlled basketball market, Adidas is launching a global campaign projecting an image of brotherhood. The spot sports a who’s-who cast of NBA stars and their lives both on and off the court.
Ah, remember those cheery "BACK TO SCHOOL!" marketing campaigns by J.C. Penny, Staples, Marshalls and the rest of the lot? How they seemed to happen earlier and earlier each summer? Well, it looks like with this season's marketing blitz, retailers decided to jump on the social media bandwagon.